Early rifle Mule deer BP hunt. equipment?

Jim See

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It's been a long time since I did a back pack hunt. Since I been on a health kick and I had 5 points and a buddy had 8 points we put in for it this year in CO.

I'm looking at a whole new gear selection out there, I have my boots selected but what out there would you guys not go with out as far a light weight essentials?

We are looking at a 6 day hike/hunt then resupply if needed. Camp will go with us every day so we are not tied down to a base camp. 2nd week of September around 11,000-12,000 feet.
 
Jim,

I think the two most important pieces of kit for this style hunt, besides your boots, willb be your shelter and your pack.

I'd make sure you have a really solid shelter and stove. Weather can be all over the place at that altitude that time of year! It'll save weight if you are hunting together and can divide up the camp gear.

I run a BA Fly Creek UL which I can take the full tent or just run the poles/rainfly to go really light. Lots of guys seem to like the tipi or trekking pole pitched tents.

Have you decided on a backpack? I ran a Kuiu for several years and really liked it, very lightweight design. And if you are only hunting/packing deer it'll do great. If you forsee larger critters in the future I would get an Exo which is what I ended up doing. Heavier pack but carries the weight better.

I also don't scrimp on my first aid kit. Any time there are guns/knives/arrows involved I make sure to have a tourniquet, quick clot and packing gauze. You are well outside the 'golden hour' when you are in the backcountry.

Good luck- hope you draw the hunt, I'm about 2 years out from the Early Rifle tag I want!
 
I think you'd be hard pressed to get 6 days worth of food/water into a 2400+500ci set up. Does the Kifaru have a meatshelf for packing out?

I think the Exo 5500 would be right up the alley you want- plenty of room for 6 days... it weights 3.5lbs LESS than the Eberlestock. And it'll hold great re-sale value later on.

Keep in mind, Exo is about to roll out a new generation of packs (their 3rd I believe) so a bunch of K2 frame packs will be hitting the market soon!
 
Theres some good videos out on ultra lite kit.I like a good head lamp and pack a exta E lite,less than oz.Some type water filtation,I have a backup filterstraw too.
 
I use Stone Glacier packs and love them. switched from Eberlestock a couple years back - lighter and much better for packing out meat/trophy. also, packable raingear. I like kuiu chugach. advil pm for good sleep at that altitude and waking up less sore/stiff (but I'm older than you). Good luck - sounds like great fun.
 
I have been considering a Stone Glacier upgrade. No experience with them yet. I'm not what you'd call an 'early adopter' - pack boards have served me pretty well.

Possibly look at a jet-boil for hot food and drinks. I've never been a fan of cold camping, and I like it even less as the years accumulate. Fire bans can be an issue that time of year, but at 10000ft, there not much to burn anyway ;)

Hard to beat a steripen for water purification.

Have fun!

Edit:

Also, HDPE sleds save knees. I've used a calf sled to great effect, inithe woods and on the prairies but the new narrow ones are pretty slick in the hills.
 
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Roughly, what area are you hunting? The only reason I ask is that, for example, if you said the Gore Range area, the second week of Sept can bring some hellacious cold rains and it will play into your hunt, without doubt. Same with the Flattops area. So for me, having a well rated waterproof tent and light fleece to layer with, would be essential.

+1 on the plastic sled! An _ss saver for sure, even if left at base camp.
 
I agree that your pack is a good place to trim weight. I use a Stone Glacier.

If eating freeze dried, it’s tough to beat a JetBoil. I use a MicroMo.

Electronics can be streamlined. Get an LED headlamp and micro lantern that are recharged by mini USB. Bring a lithium battery recharger (don’t forget cables). It will be lighter than hauling alkaline batteries and will also charge your phone/gps/camera (use a phone GPS app, not a separate handheld).

Lots of excellent, lightweight sleeping bags and pads.

And, of course, you can save weight in your rifle. I’m a fan of the Barrett Fieldcraft.
 
Roughly, what area are you hunting? The only reason I ask is that, for example, if you said the Gore Range area, the second week of Sept can bring some hellacious cold rains and it will play into your hunt, without doubt. Same with the Flattops area. So for me, having a well rated waterproof tent and light fleece to layer with, would be essential.

+1 on the plastic sled! An _ss saver for sure, even if left at base camp.
I'll be in the Holy Cross wilderness 2nd week of september.
 
I'll be in the Holy Cross wilderness 2nd week of september.

Excellent area. You may have experienced what I'm talking about, those big Fall storms where there is a lot of very cold rain. I've never had to hunker down so, in my tent near timberline with lightning cracking all around.
 
If eating freeze dried, it’s tough to beat a JetBoil. I use a MicroMo.

Electronics can be streamlined. Get an LED headlamp and micro lantern that are recharged by mini USB. Bring a lithium battery recharger (don’t forget cables). It will be lighter than hauling alkaline batteries and will also charge your phone/gps/camera (use a phone GPS app, not a separate handheld).

Good point on lithium power. This is my favorite headlamp at the moment;

https://flashlight.nitecore.com/product/nu25

Your post also reminds me - I think I read somewhere jet-boil is ' anti-hunting '. That political stuff didn't really bother me until I learned how much government policy is influenced by lobbyists. (Now I think voting with our dollars is more important than voting with ballots.)
 
I think good socks are more important than most other things. I used wool with liners and then “smart wool” for years but I discovered “fits socks” about six years ago and have not found anything that can match them since. I carry at least four pairs.
-I use a jetboil stove for everything and it is great especially the coffee press. One canister lasts a looong time. I carry two and have never needed the second one.
- You need lots of water every day at those elevations to keep from getting altitude sickness. Do you plan to bring a filter or use tablets or a UV light? I’ve used several filters and the one that pumps the easiest and fastest is made by MSR called the “sweetWater” I would carry backup tablets if you go with the UV light, but it is much smaller and lighter than a pump.
- August and September are monsoon season for a lot of high altitude places in the Rockies. Expect to have a rain shower every evening around 4pm. Pack everything in water tight bags within your pack and get a pack cover just in case. Watch out for lightning, if you are up on top glassing I would get down as soon as you see clouds building!
- investing in a good tent can save several lbs. I am very impressed with the Tipi style tents for ease of use and ultra lightweight construction. But there are really good small dome tents out as well. I’d look at the Kuiu tents if you want a dome
 
Guys thanks for the advice.
I plan on packing my Cabela's gore tex as it is light and will be a cover layer on cold and or wet days. Clothing I am going to be a minimalist. One pants, one base layer and couple pairs of socks/undies. I'm not really worried about camo after all they will pick out movement in open country regardless of my camo pattern at LR. I have the boots from last year, pants are incoming and going to order this down jacket. also thinking about the pack below since a hunting pack of similar quality is 2x as much.

Boots-https://www.crispius.com/thor-gtx
pants- https://www.trekkinn.com/outdoor-mountain/karpos-mountain-pants/136891478/p?tqw=46
packable jacket-https://www.trekkinn.com/outdoor-mountain/salewa-lagazuoi-3-down/136559160/p
pac-https://www.trekkinn.com/outdoor-mountain/osprey-aether-ag-85l/136390379/p
 
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